Quitting drinking, with help from friends

Woman alcoholic drinking glass of red wine in bar New Delhi: Alcoholics who want to quit drinking have only place where they can meet with like-minded people: Alcoholics Anonymous.

At an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meeting in Delhi, people will tell you that they have been “sober” for six months, or six years and even 16 years but it would take is just one drink to set them back on a path to disaster.

Alcoholics Anonymous gives the courage and willpower not to drink again, they say. “One alcoholic talking to another—that’s what works. That’s what happened in 1935 when our two co-founders met. When one alcoholic talks to another, he stays sober. The guy who’s ripe and ready will come and stay with AA,” says one member.

There are around 2 million AA members worldwide but the numbers in India are shockingly low. AA has been in the country for 26 years but it has just 5,000 to 8,000 thousand members in the country, most of them men.

There is a reason for that: alcoholism is largely under-detected in urban India and rarely even acknowledged as a disease.

AA doesn’t recruit members but provides support and survival strategies to people who walk in and want to quit drinking. “AA taught me to start loving myself and taking care of myself. Their programmes help me become aware of my own problems,” says a member.

Unfortunately, not everyone is ready for help. “I have seen lots of people die even after coming to AA, as they were not able to do what it takes to stop drinking. I know somebody who died two weeks ago,” says a recovering alcoholic.

Full story at IBN Live, India

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